#1 LA SALLE VS #3 HARRISON at Lakota West HS

LA SALLE – 42-0 **
** = Playoffs

After finishing 2018 with a 4-5 record La Salle went on a mission to make 2019 a championship season. So far, the Lancers have won the Greater Catholic League title and are looking for a Region 8 title to add to it.

The season provided the proving ground with a schedule that included five games against Division One opponents and seven games against teams that finished with winning records.

On offense everything starts with quarterback Zach Branam who also led the Lancers in rushing this season. But his is not a one man show as Branam has weapons in Northwestern pledge Cameron Porter and Gi’Bran Payne. Both players can also make plays catching the ball along with a handful of players capable of catching the ball.

While the focus might be on offense the Lancers are loaded with defensive star power starting with senior Luke Thiemann and a handful of juniors including Jaylen Johnson, Jaymar Hargrove-Mundy and DeVonte Smith to name a few.

The Lancers defense gave up 67 during the regular season and so far in two playoff games have given up seven points when Walnut Ridge scored against backups last week when the game was out of reach.

Add in the leg of kicker Jake Seibert (Ohio State) and from top to bottom this will be a hard team to beat.

However, Harrison has heard all of this before as they’ve gone through the season playing great defense and lighting up the scoreboard. The Wildcats have only struggled on offense early in the season in a 10-7 loss to East Central (IN) and a 6-0 win over Anderson.

Senior quarterback Connor Kinnett has six 300+ yard passing games this season and has thrown for at least 200 yards in all 12 games this season. While the Wildcats have looked to limit Kinnett from running the ball and still Kinnett has rushed for 418 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

Junior Cam Hering can help take some of the pressure off Kinnett as he’s rushed for 861 yards and nine scores while also being the teams third leading receiver with 558 yards and four scores. Levi Tidwell is the teams leading receiver with 1,525 yards and 17 touchdowns followed by CJ Young with 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns.

As we stated when talking about the Lancers defense, they have the defensive tools to hold down an offense and if the Wildcats get off to a slow start they’ll could be in for a long night.

However, the success of this Wildcats team is not just one sided as they’ve also been playing great defense having given up 59 total points during the regular season and enter this game having controlled two solid offensive attacks in the playoffs.

Senior linebacker Jake Reardon enters the game with 136 tackles on the season and four sacks while defensive lineman Derek Smith added another four sacks this season to go with 81 total tackles. Both players will need to play at the top of their game.

Those who follow football in the region will pick the Lancers to advance but the Wildcats have already heard about their demise multiple times this season only to rise to the occasion and surprise the doubters.